Heavy shelling erupts near rebel-held Ukraine town after poll

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DONETSK, Ukraine: Heavy shelling erupted Monday near the separatist held town of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, ending a calm period during weekend parliamentary elections.

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Several dozen Grad multiple rockets could be heard firing early in the morning from the area of Putilovsky, a Donetsk neighbourhood near the city’s ruined airport, Agence France-Presse correspondents said.

A Ukrainian government-held base nearby in Avdiivka was hit by the heavy rockets, a local resident there told Agence France-Presse by telephone.

“The shelling began during the night. Everyone was expecting fighting to start right back up after Sunday’s elections in Ukraine,” said Marina, at a separatist checkpoint in Putilovsky. “It’s fine, this is our side shooting. But now there will be the reply from the Ukrainians.”

President Petro Poroshenko said that preliminary results from the legislative election showed backing for his plan to negotiate an end to the war with the separatists, who have declared their own “people’s republics” allied with Russia.

Kiev accuses Russia of arming and organising the rebel militias, charges Moscow denies.

AFP

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